The man is intelligent, wonderfully reflective, brilliantly kind, and very good looking… he checks all the boxes. He’s also an all-star Canadian snowboarder who has had breathtaking pop for over two decades… *Drool* In this piece, we take Mark’s sage wisdom and attempt to condense it as best as possible, offering a concise understanding of what snowboarding has taught him. We hope you can apply his wisdom to your world, bringing life-altering change. If not, we hope you at least enjoy the picture we published. Without further adieu, here is what Mark had to say. —William Fraser
Fs 360 in Whistler [o] Aaron Blatt
I need to acknowledge community because I would not be where I am today without it. As someone who can be my own worst enemy, my friends have helped a lot. I can really get in my head sometimes and not be very confident, so I’m grateful for the community I had at a young age. They encouraged me to take risks, step outside my comfort zone and make those phone calls or send emails that helped my career. I can’t imagine where I’d be without that support. That is why I’m so into helping the younger people coming up. I like being the older person in the room now, giving the younger riders some of the support I had, the encouragement I’d had, whatever it may be. We are all a community, and it’s important to remember that when someone else succeeds, you succeed too.
Intelligent perseverance is the idea that there are times when hard work is needed because that opportunity may not come again, and other times when we need to know when to call it. Throughout my career, snowboarding has really taught me to work hard, be safe, and think more long-term. For example, I remember this time when there was a bump in the landing of a jump we wanted to hit. Instead of thinking it would be fine, we took the time to probe it, and four inches down was a big rock. That extra time and thought are what intelligent perseverance is. It’s knowing when it’s okay to keep trying and when it’s okay to take a second to be safe.
[o] Justin Kious
Success is in the Details
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. This thought has been in my head since I watched Devun Walsh’s part in The Resistance. I remember being 13 or 14 years old, jumping on the trampoline, practicing that switch backside 180 he did. I would try to do that as smoothly as possible. I think most people don’t really understand that, but it is something that I have lived by for years. It is what I love about snowboarding. So many people can do front 10s, but there are only a few that you stop and watch every time. I love that. Life is really about those fine details. That is what makes something that much better.
Perspective is a big part of life. How you view things influences the decisions you make. Snowboarding has helped me with this because snowboarding is constantly changing. The aesthetic changes, the tricks change, and I change. Something that I may have seen as entirely impossible five years ago, I may see as doable two years later. It is amazing when you think about it, especially for the younger kids saying, “ I don’t know if I want to get into competitive snowboarding. I can’t triple cork.” With perspective, you take that step back and say, “Okay, I can do a 720 now. In a year or two, I will probably do a double. And, two years after that, I can probably start looking at that triple more confidently.” I don’t think perspective is something unique to snowboarding, but learning about it through snowboarding has helped me think differently about what I do and say. I try to remember that everything changes.